2 in 1? – Day 4

Now I thought yesterday was early but the start time does in fact get earlier. Today we met at 6:50, and when I woke up at 5:45, I actually heard the birds chirping for the first time in months, it was that early. But nonetheless, I was really excited about the day, especially the BMW tour. We ate another delicious breakfast half awake and then headed to Webasto. And I just say, I really loved the layout of the company. It was secluded but not in the middle of nowhere like Hoerbiger was. We walked through their beautiful campus that a ton of flowers and greenery. It was a really nice environment to work in. We had our first talk in a sort of field house which was really interesting because most companies don’t have a field house. They even had tennis courts next to the field house. We learned about the charging systems and how Webasto is trying to prepare for a more sustainable future. We also had really really good coffee during the break. After our first talk, we went into their actual office where we learned more about their roofing business and all of the tests that they put their roofs through. I was actually shocked at how many tests each roof goes through to make sure they are up to the company’s standards. The giant fake human head that they used for the sound test was pretty cool but a little scary. After that short tour, we went into the lobby where we got to look at the prototypes of the electric chargers. This was one of my favorite parts about the office because we got to look at their actual products hands-on. 

Semira, Ashna and I at Webasto

Next, we hopped back on the bus and headed to BMW, which I was thoroughly ready for. This tour was the most high-tech one that we had been on yet in my opinion but also the best structured. The tour guide walked us through the many buildings in the plant and showed us the process step by step. Personally, the best part was seeing how the car started from just pieces to the end when each piece was attached step by step to construct the final product. The tour guide was very good as well, he had been working at BMW since he was 18 and continued to stay with the company because of how much he loved the culture and the cars. He answered all of our questions with a ton of detail and even got more personal with us about his personal feelings about the decisions the company makes and the way he is treated. Another intriguing part of the tour was how much of the process is done by robots. An overwhelming amount is automated and there is little to no human involvement. It was very interesting when he said that machines are actually better at checking for errors than humans, which I thought initially would have been the opposite. 

The outside of BMW

We then moved on to the museum which was so detailed and well designed. We again had a great tour guide that gave details about every room of the museum. I especially like this row of cars that showed how the model had evolved over the years. We also saw some of the racing cars that we ahead of their time and had been used in actual races years ago. We finished up the museum tour and had one more talk before we headed home after a long day. 

Today I must include the dinner we had after arriving back at the hotel. In Augsburg, a lot of places close relatively compared to in the US so you either have to go to dinner early or find somewhere open late. We were hungry after the long day and settled in this small pizza shop that was empty. The owners didn’t speak a lot of English, one of them was actually learning English. Even with the language barrier, we had a great conversation with both of them. Also, that pizza was so so good, I basically devoured it. It felt so nice to have a conversation with the restaurant owners because typically restaurants are full or busy and you can’t have personable conversations with the servers or owners. This dinner was very special and we promised them we would come back with more of our friends. It showed how great the people really are in Germany. That’s all from me, I’ll pick it up again tomorrow at our yummy Weisswurst breakfast and Faurecia tour! Hail to Germany and as always, Hail to Pitt!

Signing off,

A very full Sydney

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